HA NOI - Ha Noi Architecture University student Hoang Thi Thuy beat two other finalists to be named Viet Nam's Next Top Model 2011 on Sunday night at a stunning finale in Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium in HCM City.
Along with finalists Le Thuy and Tra My, Thuy landed on the stage like a fairy with the assistance of a pulley system. In a minor setback, My was stuck in mid-air for 10 minutes before technicians managed to get her down safely to join her fellow finalists on the stage, which was decorated to look like a sky with thousands of twinkling stars.
The models took to the catwalk to present the latest black-and-white creations by fashion designer Do Manh Cuong, who was the fashion stylist in Viet Nam's Next Top Model.
Most of the contest's top 20 competitors returned to the show to share the stage with the three finalists. First runner-up from the first season of Viet Nam's Next Top Model, Tuyet Lan, was also featured in the show.
Thuy - a former volleyball player - was eliminated after the runway presentation. Her strong facial features and perfect height at 1.8m were not enough to earn her the title. The judges said she didn't have as much knowledge about the fashion industry as the other competitors and failed to show her independence when she was in the public eye.
Thuy's departure left My and Thuy to face off in the last challenge of the contest - posing for a photo shoot right on stage.
Set as a Broadway musical, the girls were transformed into two beautiful and sexy dancers who had multiple costume changes while dancing with a group of male dancers.
Thuy's strong personality helped her maintain a consistent style over numerous challenges during the 14-week contest and allowed her to thrive in the final challenge.
The 18-year-old received positive comments from former American supermodel Tyra Banks - executive producer of the globally popular reality series America's Next Top Model - who was among the judges at Sunday's finale.
In addition to a VND1 billion (S$61,000) contract with the BeU Model Management, Thuy will receive VND200 million in cash from Her World magazine, a chance to be on the cover of the publication, and a modelling training course in France.
More than 2,000 young Vietnamese women living in Viet Nam and abroad tried out for the second season of Viet Nam's Next Top Model, which kicked off last August.
Contest judges included former Vietnamese supermodel Xuan Lan, designer Do Manh Cuong, make-up artist Nam Trung, and fashion photographer Pham Hoai Nam.